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God’s Word for You

Hebrews 11:30

by Pastor Timothy Smith on Friday, December 26, 2014

30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the army had marched around them for seven days.

The fall of Jericho (Joshua 6:1-27) is one of several stories in the Bible that is a struggle for some people to believe as written. An argument today from mainstream archaeologists is that the artifacts, etc., of Jericho recovered from around the year 1400 (six years after Moses’ death and the battle of Jericho took place) seem to show an abandoned city. However, after the walls fell, the people were killed (except Rahab), and the city was looted. “All the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron” were declared sacred to God and had to go in the treasury (Joshua 6:19). The city was left empty after this, which corresponds to the findings of archaeologists; even those who disbelieve the text of Joshua. From that time on and for a long time after, the city was abandoned. It’s not that an abandoned city can’t be destroyed or looted, but that the destroyed and looted city was then abandoned.

What really caused the walls to fall? The power of God. The army of Joshua had nothing to do with the fall of Jericho. Instead, God had the whole nation march around the city. So besides sergeants and corporals and generals, there were barbers and beer makers, goatherds and carpenters and painters and math teachers. There were actresses and little girls and grandmothers shuffling around those walls. Maybe there were even toddlers toddling around those mighty walls. The people of Jericho may have sneered at the Kindergarten class marching proudly along with the candle makers and fishermen and smiths and all the other multitudes of Israel, but those sneers stopped when the stones began the shake. The trumpet blasts were not made so that the Lord had to work through some sonic vibration or so that an avalanche would rip the foundation away. What happened was God caused the walls to fall. He did it in this way so that the soldiers and mothers and tinkers and toddlers and potters and milkmaids and all the others would be there; so that they would know that this was the power of God and not the vibration of their sandaled feet. It was the Lord of Armies and not their Israelite Army, who brought down the walls and allowed the people of Jericho to be put to the sword.

Their faith carried them around the city, around and around, until the seventh trip was done. Their faith carried them through this and many other battles, some fought with weapons, some fought through miracles, until the Promised Land was theirs. Their faith gave them what they needed to face the unknown days ahead—and our faith gives us everything we need, too.

In Christ,
Pastor Timothy Smith

Pastor Tim SmithAbout Pastor Timothy Smith
Pastor Smith serves St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in New Ulm, Minnesota. His wife, Kathryn, attended the Chapel from 1987-1990 while studying Secondary Education (Theater and Math) at UW-Madison. Kathryn’s father, John Meyer, was also the first man to serve as a Vicar at Chapel.

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